Monday, August 30, 2010

Horses and Deer, JRT and Camera

Our fawn.....who eats with our horses in their pasture.

We are surrounded by deer.They are taking over Cob Cottage Farm,eating my gardens and grazing with the horse quite comfortable with the arrangement. Me??? Not so much! I have been playing with my new camera trying to learn what buttons do what....all so I don't make a complete fool of myself when we are in Kentucky where I will be taking oodles of shots for reference for future paintings. Where else but in horse-country USA!! Lexington,KY. I am sure our farm-sitters will love seeing the deer around the farm. Something special to keep the New Yorkers amused!!

Nellie and her new chewy bone.

So I HAVE been reading and reading the manual on the camera and I must admit I am easily confused... Nellie has been helping my studies. [As you see above]. I am hoping that I can capture some action shots...something that I could capture before with my old digital. I am not even taking my 35 mm camera.....too heavy and too much film to develop when we get back!
My new camera is Fuji 12 mp and has a 18x zoom......this should help!

What has been "perking" in the studio???? Two new oils on copper,but I have to admit  that I have not been in the studio much of late.Too busy chasing deer out of my gardens and orchards! The below oil is one of the two, almost done......and will be one of the paintings headed to Skyline Farm for their 5th annual Fall Art Exhibit, which opens next month. I will tell more about this as we get closer to the opening reception.

 WIP of my Concord grapes and squash vines  - oil on copper 10 x 10"

I have to run ...deer in the orchard.....horses in the fields... and dogs in my face... saying it is their dinner time!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cowboys and Winter Squash - It's Good To Dream

Casein on canvas-Work In Progress- As it stands now

The days flew by this past week and I didn't get much done on this casein canvas of the three drafts. [A Pair & A Spare] But I did want to show those who are interested in my method, at what point the painting is now .I have done a bit more definition,with lighter lights etc, BUT  the work has a long way to go still.

 I also started two oils on copper panels, a 10 x 10 equine piece and a 10 x 10 garden scene. Working on those two works got me dreaming...dreaming about heading out west to paint cow-ponies and cowboys ...stark western landscapes and bright colors....all while sitting here in green green Maine. Travelling in my head! But it is a dream that I will pursue at some point. You have to have dreams!

My winter squash hanging out in our garden!

The grass keeps growing around our cottage lawns...[needs mowing] and the veggies are growing rampant on the farm! I have winter squash and cukes climbing our garden arbor, vining around my grapes and morning-glories. What a splendid display of the effects of spreading composted horse manure around the gardens!  So I decided to paint my garden's bounty! Last spring these veggies were just a dream. So I hauled old manure and tilled the soil and watered the seeds...and now Voila! Beauty and bounty!
I can just hope that my artwork can yield the same .....and I can get out west and paint those cowboys!!
I have a dream...............

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

To Market To Market

There are days on end, it seems, where I don't even get down to the studio...[ or out into our gardens].. Why you might ask? Because more and more it seems that an artist has to self-market. This is sad. I feel that the most important part of being an artist is actually producing works. I have worked with galleries for years and they market my work, and I have been very happy with them...always had a good work relationship.But the buzz today in the art world, is you HAVE to market yourself. The Internet is the be-all and end-all of art marketing. I hope this is not true. I would so much rather be painting than "selling". My heart song is creating....not "pedalling".
And that brings up another topic concerning marketing....I guess you would say that my work is slanted to a certain market....The equine art market. That is my target market....and I have always considered that a plus..having a target clientele and not just creating "willy nilly". I feel that this has helped me over the years....but it has not limited me to be creating only work depicting the horse. I do beak the mold every so often and pump out a painting of a dog or a landscape!
I don't know what prompted this blog post.....but I supposed it does have something to do with hearing about yet another gallery closing [ not one that I am with! ] .......but I will continue to paint. I have to.  

"The Small Farm"      casein on board        12 x 12"

I am working on some new paintings for a show opening in late September at Skyline Farm in North Yarmouth, Maine. This is their 5th annual Invitational show and I am pleased to be included with their great lineup of Maine artists. This year's show title is "Homegrown",.......and that leads me to feel that I need to get out off the office,out of the studio....and get working on my veggie garden! Homegrown for sure! To market To market!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer Green

Winter squash fight  for room on the arbor.
Our grape arbor and fire pit.

It is summer and everything is growing...growing fast and green and out of control, around Cob Cottage. Our grape arbor is covered with grapes and the veggie gardens on both side of the arbor are over flowing with tomatoes and cukes.I am fighting a daily battle with our resident deer population ...and barely have time to stop and smell the roses it seems. Where are those lazy crazy days of summer? I know "they" write songs about those days...but "they" must not have horses, gardens, lawn to mow, dogs to walk or deer to chase OR gallery shows to produce art work for!

"The Two Greyhounds"  oil on copper        8 x 10"

This is my latest oil on copper painting. These two rescue Italian Greyhounds belong to an artist friend of mine. The two handsome boys were sitting in front of their frosted window on a cold winter's day during a visit, and I had to take a picture of them that I knew I would paint some day. The painting is done now......just waiting to be varnished. The painting is available through my website.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Three Bigger Biggers As A Casein Work In Progress

A 30 x 40" canvas

How do I apply my paint?
Well, if it is casein... then this is sort of how I approach a painting. Sometimes I do start with a colored ground, but I am just as likely to start out with a plain old gessoed canvas........ as white as driven snow! I took this photo that I am working with, a few years ago, of horses up at Acadia at Wildwood Stables. A pair and a spare. You can see the photo sitting on the easel, the canvas image is sketched out in charcoal and I have gone in with Payne's Gray and later with Purple to establish my darkest of darks. [ Bare with me now. I am not a my explanations might not be the best! ]

My palette,sort of empty at this point,but this is how I set up.

Then I go with the old middle tone color that I will build on as I go on painting.I often start out my work with Paynes Gray,Terra Verte and Golden Ochre,and Purple.........I do...Don't ask me why....I just do?!! I like to establish my shadows and light's direction from the get go.That helps pull the painting together later. Casein has the most wonderful colors I feel....all earthy and with a lovely matte finish.

A cropped version of the painting.

Design, Design, Design!! I feel the MOST IMPORTANT part of a painting is DESIGN! If the design is bad,...'the composition',... then the entire painting won't work. I cropped the painting in progress here and I think this crop would work as a painting on it's own. In other words...I am happy with my design. So I proceed............

It is coming along here.

The darkest shadows and  the light color notes are in.

Now I leave it alone for 24 hours, to let the casein base colors dry..and I take time to walk the dogs, clean the stalls, feed the man and sleep. Then I will be back at it when I have time.  Hopefully later today.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Work In New Exhibit & I've Gone To The Dogs

"Riding With"   casein on paper    9 x 12"

HITS, Inc. and Fletcher Gallery are announcing that after several months of public display throughout the  Woodstock community, the HITS-on-the-Hudson Equestrian Art Exhibition will now be on display for a month-long gallery show at Fletcher Gallery located at 40 Mill Hill Road in Woodstock, New York. My casein painting "Riding With" is part of this stellar exhibit.

The HITS-on-the-Hudson Equestrian Art Exhibition features 59 equestrian-themed works of art in various mediums, including painting, photography, and sculpture that will be auctioned in September to raise money for FAMILY of Woodstock, Inc. and the participating artists. The collection is a mix of both existing and newly commissioned pieces created by local and national artists, as well as several estate and period pieces which have been curated by Tom Fletcher specifically for this event.
At the conclusion of the August gallery show, the collection will move to the HITS-on-the-Hudson show grounds in Saugerties where it will be on display for a two-week preview leading up to the grand finale – the Auction on Friday, September 10 that will raise money for FAMILY of Woodstock, Inc. and the participating artists. FAMILY will receive 50% of the proceeds from each piece auctioned, with the other 50% going to the artist. Friday night’s auction is a by-invitation-only event that will kick-off the festivities for the Pfizer Million Weekend at HITS, which will also include another Saugerties first – the $50,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier on Saturday, September 11, followed by the highly anticipated Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix and John Fogerty live in concert on Sunday, September 12.. This is a grand affair and I am happy that even though I won't be there to enjoy it artwork will be there representing me!

I will be home...doing my thing. Cleaning stalls and waking dogs!..AND painting! I have been working on several new oils on copper.One of the paintings is the two greyhounds below,who belong to an artist friend of mine. They are rescue boys and she loves they to pieces. I love their clean lines,full of grace and movement.But truth be known...those boys are naughty little devils!!
Starting an oil on copper painting
So I am heading down now to the studio...It is a good day for painting.....everyone is sleeping, [THE DOGS,THE AILING HUSBAND] the house is quiet. I am seizing the moment..